While there are 32 teams in the NFL, there is only one place he truly wants to be, and that’s here with the San Diego Chargers.
“I was just hoping, waiting for this call,” he said. “(I was) praying for this call. It happened and I was able to come work out yesterday, it looked good and here I am.”
So how did Ajirotutu do in his first practice?
“He did a nice job (for) just coming in,” said head coach Mike McCoy. “It’s a foreign language for him right now. The good thing is he’s been around a lot of the players, especially with the quarterbacks. They can tell him something in the huddle if it’s called a certain way, they can tell him ‘this is what you’re running’ (as) there’s been some communication in the past with them. So we’ll take it one day at a time with him. We understand his situation. We’re glad to have him and we’ll give him an opportunity to make the football team.”
While most of the new coaching regime may not be too familiar with Ajirotutu despite his time in San Diego, wide receiver coach Fred Graves has coached the wideout in the past.
“I knew coach Graves from Carolina,” said Ajirotutu. “I played with him in Carolina…but I’m just ready to take all the information in and put my best foot forward.”
One player in particular happy to see “Tutu” back is the man throwing him the ball,
“A guy like that that you’ve thrown to, that’s been around and that’s comfortable with all the guys, you immediately feel confident throwing him the ball,” said Rivers. “One thing he’s always been able to do is pick up the system quickly. So he was out there some today in team situations, not with the first group, but just mixing his way in. It’s nice to have him back.”
Ajirotutu said that Rivers’ faith and trust in him played a role in the Chargers bringing him back, and while the Chargers quarterback said that the wideout earned his way back to San Diego, he admits he has nothing but good things to say about him.
“He got himself back here,” said Rivers. “They worked him out yesterday and he was obviously impressive enough for them to sign him back. Certainly if and when we’re asked about guys that we’ve had trust in, and I know Ryan (Mathews) is his best buddy, but that I’ve had trust in over the years, that’s been here, I’m honest. And being honest about Tutu, there’s a lot of confidence to go his way because of the player that he’s been and the guy he’s been both times he was here.”
The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder originally joined the Chargers in 2010 as an undrafted rookie from Fresno State. Ajirotutu has played in 13 career games for the Chargers and he played in 14 for the Carolina Panthers in 2011. Last season, he played in three games with one start for San Diego, catching three passes for 45 yards. For his career, Ajirotutu has 17 catches for 311 yards and two touchdowns.